You are reading

Plans Certified for 21-Story Building Proposed for Queens Plaza South

42-11 9th Street (Rendering: RXR)

Sept. 21, 2020 By Christian Murray

The public review period has begun on a proposal that would see a 21-story mixed-use office tower go up next to the Queensboro Bridge.

The plan, which requires two zoning changes, calls for a building that would consist of 18 stories of office space and three stories for industrial use. The building would go up at 42-11 9th Street and would not include any residential units.

The building plans were certified by City Planning on Sept. 14 and as part of the public review process–required with proposed zoning changes– they will wind their way through Community Board 2, the Queens Borough President’s office, the City Planning Commission and City Council over the next six to eight months.

Community Board 2 has scheduled a public hearing on the plan—via zoom—on Oct. 1

The developers, RXR Realty and Titan Machine Corp., require the zoning change in order to increase the project’s floor area ratio as well as to obtain a special permit to increase the allowed floor area ratio for specific industrial, manufacturing and commercial use types.

Site Map (City Planning)

The project would be located on a site at the foot of the Queensboro Bridge that is in the Long Island City Industrial Business Zone.

A low-rise building is currently on the site that consists of approximately 45,500 square feet of industrial space and 2,400 square feet of commercial space. The building is tenanted by Titan Machine Corp., an elevator company, which is a partner in the development.

Titan, which has 18 employees, is moving to a new location. RXR is a large real estate company that owns the Standard Motor Products Building at 37-18 Northern Blvd.

A low rise industrial building occupies the site 42-11 9th Street. (Photo: Queens Plaza South and 9th Street via City Planning)

The proposal would bring additional industrial space to the area. The plan calls for 70,200 square feet of industrial space that would be on the bottom three floors.

In addition, there would be nearly 270,000 square feet of office space, 4,200 square feet of ground floor retail and 53,500 square feet for parking, loading and mechanical space.

The plans call for 67 parking spaces below ground. There would be 5 loading berths.

The developers aim to compete the project by the end of 2022.

“This is a great example of the type of investment that will buoy Queens on its road to recovery,” said Liz Luskin, president of the Long Island City Partnership. “We’ve seen so much manufacturing space disappear over the years, so it’s encouraging to see a project reverse that trend by expanding Long Island City’s industrial building stock and the great jobs that follow – especially at a critical time like this.”

The massing of the structure would include a two-story base, a setback on the 3rd floor and additional setback on the 10th floor from the Queens Plaza South façade. The building would rise 330 feet and be clad in glass.

The developers have also proposed the construction of public space surrounding the building.

Lisa Deller, chair of Community Board 2, said the full board has yet to weigh in on the project. However, she said, the board would most likely advocate for some of the industrial space to be offered at a reduced rent for small business operators.

She said that the plan does not provide any space for community facilities—which some board members and the public may request.  She also questioned whether there would be demand for office space given the economic changes brought about by COVID-19

Deller, however, said that the developers have made some positive commitments. They have pledged to work with unions to staff the building.  She said that the developers are also partnering with Urban Upbound and LaGuardia Community College to provide jobs to residents, especially Queensbridge residents.

The project would not put pressure on schools, she said, since there isn’t a residential component. Furthermore, she said, it would not reduce the amount of industrial space–something the developers have focused on.

“This project allows us to not only preserve but expand the space available on site for industrial uses,” said Jeff Nelson, Senior Vice President, RXR. “We recognize the mixed-use and industrial character that makes Long Island City unique, and are committed to preserving it.”

email the author: [email protected]

One Comment

Click for Comments 

No zoning change actually. This is a request for IBIA special permit and a zoning text change to allow the applicant to seek the IBIA special permit. The zoning district and maximum FAR remains unchanged. This is a request for a special permit that unlocks additional industrial and commercial square footage that would otherwise only be allowed for community facility space (like a medical office, house of worship, or school/college, etc)


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Long Island City teen sentenced in fatal shooting of ‘beloved’ school teacher at Queensbridge Houses in 2020: DA

A Long Island City man on Friday, Jan. 28, was sentenced to 19 years in prison for the 2020 fatal shooting of a public school social studies teacher who was out walking his dog when he was caught in the crossfire during a confrontation between gang rivals in broad daylight, just blocks from his home, according to Queens District Attorney’s office.

Ike Ford, 19, of 12th Street, in Long Island City, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder. The teacher, George Rosa, 53, was shot in his abdomen by a stray bullet fired by Ford, who was just 17 years old at the time of the shooting but was sentenced as an adult given the severity of the crime, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

LaGuardia Community College receives federal funding to expand vocational training for the unemployed

LaGuardia Community College recently received more than $400,000 in federal funding to enhance and expand vocational training for underemployed New Yorkers in a city that is still working to recover from COVID-19 pandemic-induced job loss. The support was secured by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and former Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.

LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams explained that the school lost nearly a quarter of its students at the height of the pandemic due to the economic effects of the lockdown on low-income Queens households.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.